Mr Eugene Felix Hernandez (11/15/30 - 8/14/10)

 

 

 

Eugene was born on November 15, 1930 and spent his formative years in Dangriga, Belize. He later attended and graduated from St. Johns Teacher's College in Belize City, Reading College in England and the University of Santa Clara.

He, and his family travelled throughout Belize for several years, while he teached at several Catholic schools. In 1958 he was appointed, the first principal of Muffles High School in Orange Walk Town. Later in 2003 he was honored to have the College name one of theirs’ the Eugene Hernandez building. At the ceremony he remarked with pride "…bear in mind this was my first job outside of high school and it’s really a reconnection with the institution that built me really, that set up my foundation in education." He went on to become an education officer before moving to California in 1970 where he worked for several years with the Center for Employment Training (CET). In fact while thinking of ways of alternative to formal educational opportunities for young Belizeans, he decided to introduce CET to authorities in Belize, and was actively involved in the setting up of the Belize’s CET, including finding resources for training of some staff.

The passion of Eugene lay in football. "Go Gene go!" was the cry at SJC football team matches in the early 50’s, where he utilized his striker skills with the likes of Hector Silva and Bishop OP Martin. As a young man he played in several football clubs in Belize City and Dangriga and later carried his passion to San Jose, California, where he played in marathons. He has been lauded as one of many foundation footballers in the country.

An avid supporter of Mr. George Price before he left in 1970, he was an ever ready community activist, a tried and true blue, who gave his last to ensure the best for Dangriga and the PUP.

He retired in 1995 and gradually moved back to Dangriga where he actively hosted and organized meetings with community persons. His heart was Dangriga and he yearned to see improvements in all facets. As a community member, he along with his wife Felicia have financially supported many through their high school education, and contributed to the work of the National Garifuna Council and the Church via the Sacred Heart Church of Dangriga. Along with other elders he initiated the Buyei Juan Lambey Institute and has contributed to the Garifuna culture and summer youth camps for the needy.

He reluctantly left Belize for further medical attention in June 2009, in stable but rapidly deteriorating condition. Miraculously he bounced back; defying doctors ominous predictions that he would not make it past December 2009. "I will beat this thing, I will come home."

No happier and contented person has ever deplaned in Belize. Eugene Hernandez returned on July 10, 2010, beaming with joy, his usual jovial and selfless nature, looking forward to his home on 36 Citron Street in Dangriga, he grudgingly made a 20 minute layover in Belize City to greet family. He settled back into life in Dangriga, already planning meetings with community leaders and catching up with old friends….but unexpectedly four weeks later, the cancer won the final battle; his body could take no more. The long time educator, footballer, community advocate, party loyalist, husband, friend and father to many, peacefully slipped into eternal slumber mercifully at home…Belize on August 14, 2010

Eugene Hernandez is survived by Felicia, his wife of 52 years. Siblings: Denbey and Joseph Hernandez and Lola Bonilla. His children: Eugenie Alexander, Martin Hernandez, Carolee Jones, Valerie Hernandez, Jude Hernandez, Elizabeth Hernandez-Jones, and Angela Hernandez. His grandchildren: Felix Hernandez-Jones, Felicia Hayden, Himes Alexander Jr., Adam Rhodes, Ian Jones, Tony Madeiros-Hernandez, Zachary Alexander, Elise Jones, Mark Hernandez and Naomi Jones.

He will be missed by many. Beiba Ameragua, Ayo Niyawurite

His funeral will be in Dangriga at Sacred Heart Church on Saturday August 21 at 2:00 PM.

Students of St John College Includes Serveral Garinagu who became teachers including Eugene Hernandez, Clifford Palacio and Theodore Palacio

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